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How to Help Your Teen Adjust to a Move

Teens often find moving difficult, especially if they move far away from their friends. Teens already deal with many changes in their lives and the stress associated with trying to gain independence. However, you can ease the transition and help your teen adjust to the relocation.

Give Them Time

Teens often need a significant amount of time to adjust to change. Tell them as soon as you know you will move before you tell anyone else. Give them space to express feelings and to consider how to say goodbye to their friends and routines. Understand that the upheaval may cause them to be frustrated and angry for a while.

Highlight the Positives

Emphasize the ways the move will improve their lives. For example, they may benefit from their own room, recreation room, or larger yard. However, be careful to validate their sad feelings, too. Saying "You're going to LOVE your new school" immediately after the teen has expressed that he's worried about the transition may be viewed as failing to acknowledge their feelings.

Involve Them in the Process

Let them be part of the decision-making process as much as you can. For example, let them help you research the best neighborhoods in your new city and take them with you as you tour prospective houses. Let them explore the new neighborhood and its amenities. Give them a say about how they pack their old room and decorate their new one.

Plan Return Visits

Sometimes, knowing that they'll be able to see their old friends again soon will help to ease the transition. Work with your teen to plan visits back to the old neighborhood. Also, encourage them to plan a goodbye party and to stay in touch with their old friends through video chats and other means.

Make New Connections

Encourage teens to participate in extracurricular activities in their new school or community. Find activities to do as a family that provides the opportunity to meet other families. Consider some of these options to get them engaged.

  • Alternative sports

  • Creative hobby

  • Arts

  • Clubs

  • Sports

  • Part-Time Job

  • Start a small business

  • Volunteering


Support Mental Health

Moving can be stressful for a teen, so encourage activities supporting their mental health. Physical activity, leisure time in nature, mindfulness training, and proper rest also help support good teen mental health.

Be alert to signs that your teen may be experiencing depression or anxiety. Several of the following signs almost every day for two weeks may indicate a need to consult an adolescent mental health specialist.

  • Lack of motivation

  • Emotional outbursts

  • Little or no appetite

  • Withdrawing from family or friends

  • Poor concentration and memory

  • Feelings of fear, guilt, or shame

  • Worsening grades

  • Self-criticism

  • Comments about death and dying or a preoccupation with music about death

Physical symptoms like frequent headaches and stomachaches may also indicate that your teen isn't adjusting well. Early intervention can help your teen adapt to the new environment.

Organize Your Move

An organized and smooth move can relieve anxiety for everyone and enable parents to model calm behaviors. Our moving team can help make your move easier. Contact us today.